Dr. Owen McCarty appointed chair of Department of Biomedical Engineering

Dec. 28, 2018

mccartyOHSU School of Medicine Dean Sharon Anderson has appointed Owen McCarty, Ph.D., chair of the Department of Biomedical Engineering, effective Jan. 1.

"Owen has demonstrated not only outstanding leadership but a vision for the expansion and deeper integration of biomedical engineering at OHSU and our partner institutions across the state," said Dr. Anderson. "We are extremely fortunate to have Owen at OHSU, and I am delighted that he will chair the Department of Biomedical Engineering in the School of Medicine."

Dr. McCarty, professor of biomedical engineering, has served as interim chair of the department since 2015. He succeeded Joe Gray, Ph.D., professor of biomedical engineering, who stepped down as chair to focus on development of the OHSU Center for Spatial Systems Biomedicine, which he directs.

Dr. McCarty's vision includes applying engineering principles to address unmet clinical needs in the areas of cardiovascular medicine, infectious disease, and cancer; establishing OHSU as a leader in the study of multiscale modeling and advancement of precision medicine, and training the next generation of scientists to translate research from mechanistic understanding to therapeutic utility.

"Dr. McCarty is the right person at the right time to leverage biomedical engineering to support the institutional goal of taking research at OHSU to the next level," said Dan Marks, M.D., Ph.D., senior associate dean for research, OHSU School of Medicine. "It is this kind of cross-functional vision that will propel us forward."

Dr. McCarty earned his Bachelor of Science in chemical engineering from the State University of New York at Buffalo and his Ph.D. in chemical and biomolecular engineering from Johns Hopkins University. His dissertation work focused on the role of platelets in cancer metastasis and thrombosis. As a Wellcome Trust Postdoctoral Fellow, he continued his research in the area of thrombosis, examining the signaling pathways governing platelet cytoskeletal reorganization, at the Department of Pharmacology, Oxford University and Centre for Cardiovascular Sciences, University of Birmingham, UK.

Dr. McCarty's research is focused on understanding the interplay between cell biology and fluid mechanics in the cardiovascular system that also has great relevance to the underlying processes of cancer, cardiovascular disease and inflammation.

Dr. McCarty came to OHSU in 2005 as an assistant professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering and was promoted through the ranks, becoming a tenured, full professor in 2017. He served as vice chair in the department from 2014 to 2015 before becoming interim chair. Dr. McCarty served as director of the OHSU School of Medicine Ph.D. program in biomedical engineering from 2009 to 2015.

The Department of Biomedical Engineering is home to 30 primary faculty, as well as joint and affiliate faculty from the Advanced Research Imaging Center, the OHSU Center for Spatial Systems Biomedicine (OCSSB), Casey Eye Institute, the Oregon Hearing Institute, and the Knight Cardiovascular and Cancer Centers, and more than 50 Ph.D. students and postdoctoral fellows.

"I am thrilled and humbled to lead a dynamic group of graduate students, fellows, technicians and research faculty and to work for Dean Anderson as OHSU shapes a vision and secures the infrastructure to further catalyze the great minds and great work going on across the school and the institution," said Dr. McCarty. "I am committed to building an inclusive training environment and am committed to the success of our projects with hopes of improving the lives of patients with cardiovascular, infectious disease and cancer."